Survival

What Are You Going to Do If…?

what will you do pinterest

When you stop and think about it, it is pretty scary and more than a little bewildering to consider just how much can possibly go wrong, and in all kinds of ways. It’s enough to make you button up the house and never come out. Ok, I’m exaggerating. A little. Not much, but a little.

In seriousness, it can actually be beneficial to let you mind run away with itself and ruminate on all the varied and wild ways the excrement may hit the proverbial oscillator. Sure a wildfire may sweep through your town. But where will you be when the call comes? What if you are out of town and your family is at home? What will you do if your car won’t start?

Pondering freeform problems and solutions is more than simply a guilty pleasure or neurotic pastime; this “wargaming” can actually illuminate weaknesses in your existing plan, or be the flash of insight you need for a solution to a particular problem. In the interest of prompting this sort of self-inquiry (and discussion in the comments), I have assembled the following list of scenarios and possible responses.

Preface

None of these scenarios are very fleshed out, but they don’t have to be. You may want to know more about exactly what our fictional protagonist is dealing with, but my objective is to get you in the shoes of our hopefully hardy prepper in each given situation, and weigh the possible responses as your own.

Some may not apply to you, others will be frankly impossible or idiotic depending on where you live, your family situation and so on. That’s alright. You should be thinking of your own solutions also, or at least reviewing yours in the context of each scenario.

If a solution sounds viable, why is that? If one is untenable, why so? It is only by earnest and engaging thought that you can reason and puzzle out the best specific solution for your specific problem with anything approaching a high degree of efficacy.

Without any more blathering, let’s get to it.

What Would You Do If…

1. The Road is Blocked

The SHTF. You and your party are heading away at best speed in your SUV. There has been plenty to dodge on the way to even get this far, people and otherwise. You come to a major obstacle in the road- a large tree has fallen completely blocking it, and crunching a car beneath it to boot. There is no way to drive over it. Should you…

  • Abandon the vehicle, grab your BOB’s and proceed on foot or bike.
  • Reverse out and head back the way you came to try an alternate route to your destination.
  • Use what tools you have and attempt to clear the tree from the road.

2. You Run Out of Water While Bugging Out

You packed plenty of water for just such a contingency, but your progress has been slow and exertion great. You have blown through your carried water supply, and you are absolutely dry now. You have a few days before you die of thirst, but dehydration will be kicking your ass before then. Should you…

  • Detour into a town or city to procure more potable water.
  • Start searching your immediate area for a source of decent water.
  • Create a water filter to make use of the questionable sources of water you passed earlier.

3. A Loved One Dies

It was bad luck, bad planning or something else. One of your loved ones has because of the crisis or in the aftermath. It does not matter much now. You only have to decide what you’ll do and how you’ll proceed. Should you…

  • Bury them or otherwise lay their body to rest. It is the human thing to do, and sanitary.
  • Leave them lying: they aren’t their body anymore, and you do not have the time or energy to waste on the niceties of civilization. Survival comes first.
  • Stop and mourn properly. You are emotionally capsized and do not trust yourself to make good decisions at the time.

4. You Get Trapped in a City by an Occupying Force

Of all the things you never thought you’d live to see: tanks in the street corners, strict curfews, beatings, people being dragged from their homes, even shot. No way you are seeing your number come up with some pissed off soldier. Should you…

  • Toe the line. Don’t make waves. Think of your family and friends. This cannot go on forever.
  • By sewer, by night, stowed away in a truck. Somehow.
  • Not on my watch, and not in my backyard. This is going nowhere good.

5. You Arrive at Your BOL to Find it Looted

When it rains it really does pour. You pulled up at your super-secret prepper hide out, the one you meticulously stocked in secret for just such an occasion, to find it stripped bare. Who even knew this was here?! You did not tell a single soul. Everything not nailed down is gone, and a few things that were. Should you…

  • Make the best of it. You are hopefully safe here, and you have your BOB supplies.
  • Head to a tertiary safe location. Your looters may come back, and there is nothing here for you except shelter.
  • Start investigating. With some luck and a little skill, maybe you can pick up the looter’s trail.

6. You Arrive at Your BOL to Find it Occupied

It can always get worse. You rolled to a stop in at your BOL shocked and scared to see vehicles waiting for you. You did not bring anyone else besides the people in your vehicle and weren’t planning to meet anyone here. You see a few people milling around watching you tensely. A few are armed with guns. Should you…

  • Be cool and talk to them. They are trying to survive just like you, and maybe stopped here out of desperation or luck. Maybe you can get them to leave.
  • Reverse out and go elsewhere. People are too twitchy during all of these and you don’t want to find out if their guns are loaded. You will find another place to wait things out.
  • Wrong answer, wayward travelers. You and yours come first. Maybe you can drive them off, but if not you’ll give the guns the last, loud word. Fight.

7. You Open Sealed Food in Your Stash to Find it Spoiled

How this happened, you don’t know. A bad batch, crappy QC at the factory or just an oversight on its shelf life. You rotated your stock religiously, but it didn’t make a difference; about 75% of the cans and pouches you have opened so far have been bad. Real bad. Botulism bad. You cannot risk it, but you have mouths to feed, your own least among them. Should you…

  • Go down to emergency ration levels. Try to make your good food last.
  • Hunt and gather: you know you can come up with food somewhere, somehow, but is it worth the risk?
  • Risk it. The food may look awful and smell like ass, but maybe all of the preservatives kept the worst of the germs at bay. It beats starving.

8. Your Loved Ones Have an Emotional Meltdown

The human mind is as fragile as a robin’s egg. The trauma, totality of the circumstances and shock resulting from this society-shredding event has driven your loved ones half mad. They are babbling incoherently, catatonic or a sobbing, shuddering mess. None of them will move. You cannot stay here, and you cannot carry them all on your back. Should you…

  • Spare them a little time to decompress, and give them a pep talk. Leadership skills don’t fail me now.
  • You really don’t have time for this. Luckily you prepared a little medicinal countermeasure for panic. A little bump of tranquilizer will help them get over the hump and all of you down the road.
  • Shanghai them. Kicking and screaming, dragged by the hair, they are going to get moving. They can hate you once this is over.
  • Stay and risk it. You won’t abandon them, and you cannot strong-arm them.

9. Your Kid is in School When the Balloon Goes Up

It all happened fast. You are just outside of town at work, heading to lunch when it happened. Already it is chaos in the city limits, the roads are clogged with traffic and the situation is deteriorating. Your child in at school on the opposite end of town. You must make sure they are safe. Should you…

  • Head toward the school to get them. By car, bike or foot, no matter what or how long it might take..?
  • Contact your child if you are able and give them specific instructions until you can reunite with them.
  • Contact a friend, spouse or someone else and dispatch them to pick up your child.

10. Your Car Runs Out of Gas in Remote Cold Conditions

You really should have brought that gas can. Or you totally flubbed your distance estimation to your BOL. Whatever the case, you’re in the middle of nowhere in one of the worst events to ever happen to the region and no one knows, or cares, where you might be. The weather is already close to freezing and falling fast. You must do something to stay warm or you’ll die out here. Should you…

  • Stay in the car. Huddle together and break out anything that will help you stay insulated and warm and wait till morning and, hopefully, nicer weather.
  • Leave the car, create a shelter and a fire to stay warm. You don’t think huddling in the car will be enough without the heater.
  • Suit up and hoof it. If you keep moving you might stay warm and make it your nice, warm bug-out location

gunpoint

11. A Desperate/Crazed/Depraved Survivor Puts You at Gunpoint

He wants what you have. Any of it. All of it. Wallet, watch, BOB and all. It never fails, the cockroaches come out when the lights are off. You cannot make much of his demeanor except that he has a gun and is starting to sound impatient. Should you…

  • Give him what he wants. Most robberies are loot-oriented. You can replace equipment, but not your life.
  • Distract him and make a break for it. Most people are lousy shots with handguns. If you can get about 45 feet away you’ll be home free.
  • You will not trust the outcome to this scumbag’s foibles. Maybe you can pass his gun and come to grips with him. Or you could draw your knife and shank him or your own gun behind your right hip and see how he likes it.

12. You Are At Work When SHTF

Talk about rough day at the office. The sky is darkening and smoke is on the wind. Sirens have replaced the normal noises outside your workplace, punctuated by the occasional explosion. Your coworkers have either fled, hunkered over their phones or are looking to you for guidance. You are weighing what is best to do. Should you…

  • Shelter in place. Your office is pretty well outside the biggest population clusters, and you have a modest amount of supplies with you between your office stash and GHB.
  • Head home. This is the moment you have been preparing for, and you want home-field advantage and your elaborate, comprehensive stockpile of provisions and equipment.
  • Get while the getting is good. From your location, you will be ahead of any waves of people fleeing the city, and the little county highway you take to work is clear right now.

13. You Encounter a Mob Swarming the Road

The political tensions have been percolating for weeks. First it was blocked traffic, then a few flipped cars. Now whole buildings are being burned and suspected “thought criminals” are being beaten in the streets. You have wisely decided to get out of Dodge while you are able, but the blistering summer heat and simmering tensions have finally erupted into a rabble of rampaging people flooding down the road. Traffic is not yet gridlocked, but drivers are getting pulled from their cars. This is going to get ugly. Should you…

  • Skinny pedal on the right; no horde of people will stop a moving automobile, and leaving the car might mean death.
  • Reverse out. Perhaps you can get clear of the traffic and mob, find another route.
  • Disembark and blend in. With your bandana and sunglasses you may be able to blend into the mob, chanting what they chant.

hurricane

14. A Severe Hurricane is Bearing Down on You

You pushed your legendary good luck a little too far, and now an Atlantic hurricane has not only strengthened but veered and is bee-lining right for your town. You have fortified your coastal home and stocked it well in excess of what you and your family will need to survive. Despite all that, the weathermen are already calling it the storm of the century. Time to decide. Should you…

  • Hunker down and ride it out. You have faith in your hardened home and supplies.
  • Load up the family and evacuate as far as you can. It is not worth risking a direct hit, even if you take on additional risk trying to flee.
  • Grab your BOB’s and head to a friend or family member’s further inland. At least you won’t have to worry about flooding as much.

15. A Deadly Chemical Agent is Poisoning the Air

The reports are in that this was a deliberate act. A large scale and coordinated release of a chemical agent has killed hundreds and is injuring thousands in your area. What is less clear is how far the agent might travel. You are outside the immediately affected area, but the media is emphasizing the lethality of the agent. You have a few options. Should you…

  • Button up; Shelter in place, seal all air gaps and don PPE until you receive an all clear.
  • Not one to take that kind of chance; grab the BOB and head directly away from ground zero by car.
  • Need to leave this to the pros; Try to get to an approved shelter for protection and aid.

16. Your Home is Invaded

A couple of sharp thuds and then the crash of splintering wood and breaking glass. That is all the warning you got. From the sound of it, you have three unknown, presumed hostile, people in your house. Somehow you don’t think they are there to get you into church on Sunday. You have a couple of seconds before they make their way to the bedroom. Should you…

  • Repel boarders; grab your weapon and prepare to defend yourself.
  • Hide or escape; nothing you own is worth your life. Slip out the window or hide.
  • Barricade; close the bedroom door and obstruct it with the dresser.

17. You Wind Up Lost in Deep Country

Turns out your land navigation e-course was not worth the salt. You decided to bug-out overland through the woods from your home, but it has taken a dark turn. You are badly lost in the woods and all your tricks and procedures for picking up your trail have turned up nothing. You are away from danger, but it is hard living in the woods. Should you…

  • Stay on your main course until you clear the woods, then assess from there.
  • Camp in place; you are safe enough, and you trust your field skills to sustain you until you can find your bearings.
  • Try to signal for help with flares, smoke and other methods. Maybe you can attract the attention of an aircraft.

18. It is Time to Bug-Out but Your Vehicle is Disabled

You tried everything you know to try, and your trusty ride just will not start. Maybe something in the fuel lines, you don’t know. At any rate, despite your skills and tools, the time to go is fast approaching. You’ll have to decide how best to tackle this curveball. Should you…

  • Forget it. You’ll have to go with your alternate travel plan. Bike, hike, whatever. Grab the BOB and get moving.
  • Try to get a ride from a friend or neighbor. One of them might have a spare car they’ll lend you.
  • You know what you are doing wrenching on cars. Time to do your best NASCAR pit crew impersonation and get the girl running again.

19. You Are Caught Far, Far From Home

Of all the days for things to go pear-shaped. You are 500 miles away when catastrophe rears its ugly head. You are safe where you are, as is your family, but the situation is uncertain, and very scary. Your family is at home and doubtless worried sick. You have trained them as best as you can for such things, but you know you need to get home to help them. Should you…

  • Get home ASAP; buy, bribe, cajole or extort a ride. You must find a fast way home.
  • Assess; the situation might stabilize, and communications are still working. You can coordinate your family plan from here.
  • Stay put; if no one is in immediate danger, you may out then or yourself at risk by reacting when you do not have to.

20. You Run Out of Vital Medicine

To survive so much and face death over a little pill. No. You won’t let your thoughts go that way. You must think solutions first. You have some time before things will get bad if a dose is missed, but not more than a handful of days at most. The world has not stopped turning. There must be a way to get the medicine you need. Should you…

  • Barter; someone, someplace needs what you have, and you need that medicine.
  • Scavenge; a hospital, ambulance, drugstore. There must be some somewhere that has been overlooked.
  • Improvise; maybe there are some natural treatments or therapies that can help, or at least extend the time needed between doses.

homeless

21. A Desperate Survivor Begs You for Help

Truly these are the times that try men’s souls. Everyone lost something, some lost everything. You were lucky to get away with what you have and your family intact. A ragged, filthy, desperate survivor has approached you with trembling hands and pleading eyes. He is asking for anything, and very emotional. So emotional he is making your family, and you, edgy. Should you…

  • Give him something to help him, if only a little. It is the humane thing to do.
  • Give him nothing. It is cruel, but every morsel of food and piece of gear is vital to your family’s survival.
  • Help him get somewhere he can get aid. He needs a Samaritan, it just cannot be you. Not today.

22. A Nuclear Device Detonation May Be Imminent

The Big One. Someone, some terrorist group, rogue state or whoever has threatened to detonate a nuclear device. Reports are saying it could be near your city. The threat is credible, but may or may not be imminent. You have supplies at home, and your BOB in the car per usual. Now is no time for screw ups. Should you…

  • Head home, prep the house for fallout, and shelter in the basement.
  • Freedom from this; grab your BOB, anyone you want to bring with you and head away from all population centers and strategic targets.
  • Don’t trifle with the power of the atom. You need to head to an approved shelter that can withstand a near strike and the fallout for sure.

23. Your Stockpile Becomes Inaccessible

So much for best laid plans. Your house has collapsed in the wake of a destructive event. Thousands of pounds of rubble on top of your basement stockpile, a tangled nest of splintered wood, jagged nails and more. You have a light go-bag in your car, but your survival plans hinged on accessing your thoughtfully prepared equipment and provisions. Should you…

  • Start digging out. You need your stuff, and you’ll be damned if a little sweat and few splinters is going to stand between you and it.
  • Write it off. It isn’t worth the risk of injury or waiting around for something else to happen. You need to get to safety, and will make do with your go bag.
  • No problem; you cached backups in a couple of strategic spots for just such an occasion. You’ll head over to their locations and retrieve them.

24. Your BOB is Snatched

A lean robber has swiped your BOB right off your shoulder. You were only adjusting it for comfort, but he used the opportunity to strike. He is pulling away fast. You have enough supplies to among the rest of the BOB’s in your group to cover the loss, cleanly, but your backup pistol is cased inside the bag. Should you…

  • After him. Perhaps you can catch him and get your bag back, or force him to ditch it for fear of an ass-kicking. Run like the wind, he is hauling 40 lbs after all.
  • Let him go. There’s no telling what a desperate criminal might do, or if he is rendezvousing with scumbag associates.
  • Wrong move, punk. No way are you letting your pistol fall into criminal hands. Draw your pistol and shoot him.

25. You are About to Be Abducted

Three men have you at gunpoint and are ordering you into the back of a car. You are caught dead to rights. You don’t recognize them and have no idea what their intentions might be. You must decide what to do now and execute, if you are going to do anything besides comply. Should you…

  • No way in Hell are you going anywhere. You’ll take your chances now. Prepare to fight for your life.
  • Time to run for it. If you can get far enough away from the shooters, you’ll probably be home free.
  • Comply for now, and escape from the car when their guard is down. It’s risky, but perhaps better than taking a bullet.

26. Your Shelter Catches Fire

Maybe it was a tipped over candle, broken lantern or something else. Maybe an ember carried on the wind, you don’t know. All that matters is your shelter is about to go up in flames with you and all your goodies inside if you don’t act. The fire is modestly sized right now, but growing rapidly. Should you…

  • Fight it. You have an extinguisher, get to work.
  • Douse it. A couple of 5 gallon buckets and the pond will have to be enough.
  • Forget it. The risk from the flames and smoke is too great to risk your life. You kept your BOB packed. Grab it and go!

27. Cell Networks Go Down Hard When Separated

Either the system was disabled from overload or some secondary mishap. It went down 8 hours ago and has not come back. You cannot even connect to the network. Your partner was off on some errand into town, but is overdue and now you are getting worried. Should you…

  • Head out to look for them. You know their itinerary more or less, and should be able to pick up their trail.
  • They probably just caught up in the scrum. No need to overreact.
  • You have contingency plans you rehearsed for just these circumstances. If they do not report in or make it back in a few hours, you’ll start looking at your rendezvous points.

28. You Are Bugging Out and Have a Party Member Get Seriously Injured

This is a bad situation. You cannot stop, but if you don’t your group member may die without prompt medical intervention. The fates of 6 people rest on your decision. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Should you…

  • Stop and do what you can for them. You don’t leave your people behind.
  • Leave them to their fate. It looks really bad, and the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
  • Push on. If they can hold on a little longer all of you will be safe and then you can give them your full attention.

29. You Had to Shoot an Assailant While Bugging In

Crisis or not the dude broke in with a crowbar and unknown intentions. He did not follow your commands to stop, so you shot him. Everyone is very shaken up, but now the question is what to do about the aftermath. There is no 911 right now, hasn’t been for days, and you know all emergency services are stretched thin or non-existent. Should you…

  • Bury him. Tell your story later, if at all. He will start decomposing, and that’s a health risk.
  • Document everything you can, and then drag him outside. You will not leave him lying in your house.
  • Drop everything and find someone, anyone in a position of authority to log your use of defensive force. When the lights come back on you don’t want to be dealing with questions like that.

30. A Major Flood Event is Threatening Your Shelter

The rain just will not stop. That’s bad enough, but you will really be up a creek when the rivers burst their banks. That will be in a couple of days at current projections. Most of your preps are in your basement, and will be the first destroyed when the flood waters sweep through. On the other hand, this is going to be The Big One, and you cannot make use of your gear if you are a waterlogged corpse. Should you…

  • Take what you can and leave while you can. Head to higher dryer ground with limited provision, but alive.
  • Shelter in place. Start staging items on the second floor and then the attic. You can go high enough to escape the worst of the water. You hope…
  • Dam it, dam it all. It will be 48 hours of backbreaking work, but you have plenty of sandy, loose soil around your home. Perfect for sandbags. Start filling, and with a little help and luck you can probably save your home.

31. A Major Outbreak of Disease has Decimated Your Town

Pestilence. A threat from the Old World. Still real, still killing in the 21st century. Despite the best efforts of the CDC and other alphabet soup agencies this unknown plague is ripping through society in flagrant disregard of all firebreaks. You do not want to end up like those poor victims who lay dying, bleeding from their nose and mouth. You can make it home, but you’ll have to travel through town to do so. Should you…

  • Button up. Go nowhere. Touch no one not already in the room with you. Start rationing and wait for instructions.
  • Get away from all population centers. This bug spreads like wildfire. If you can get away from people, you should be safe. Don your mask, gloves and goggles. Don’t touch your face, and wash your hands regularly.
  • Head for home. If you get there you stand a much better chance of weathering this crisis. You’ll have to disinfect every surface, twice, just to be sure, but after that and a good decon, you’ll be set.

32. An EMP Threat is Imminent

You have reason to fear a high-altitude nuclear detonation or as-yet unseen superweapon is going to lead to a cataclysmic EMP event in your region, one that will decimate all circuit boards and many other electronics. You might have time to prepare. Should you…

  • Try to fashion a rudimentary Faraday cage for your most important electronics. It might work, it might not. No one is really sure.
  • Forget it. There is not much you can do to stop an EMP without specialized equipment and purpose-built hardening systems.
  • Spend your energy on secondary preparation. A Stone-Age blackout will cause total pandemonium. It’s time to start implementing your response plans; the loss of electronics will be the least of your worries.

Conclusion

Quite the rocky ride, eh? Getting through this list of possible bad days you might have to endure when the SHTF probably gave you some ideas. Hopefully it was thought provoking for you, even if it helped you figure out what not to do. Many times that can be just as instructive as what you should do.

How did our fictional Joe Public prepper do in some of the scenarios? Were his response options sound or not? In the same set of circumstances, would you have needed any additional info to make a good decision? Asking questions like this is how you’ll sharpen your critical thinking skills.

Sound off in the comments below with what your plans are for various situations, or what you would have done in any of our example scenarios.  Your input may help another prepper formulate an ideal response of their own.

About Charles Yor

Charles Yor is an advocate of low-profile preparation, readiness as a virtue and avoiding trouble before it starts. He has enjoyed a long career in personal security implementation throughout the lower 48 of the United States.
View all posts by Charles Yor →

3 thoughts on “What Are You Going to Do If…?

    1. Oops, blew the cut & paste.
      I have been war gaming scenarios both privately and professionally for more than 3 decades, and I personally think it’s not at all neurotic. If you look at your budget and list your income, fixed expenses, and amount left over for savings or emergencies, you are doing the same thing on the financial level.
      It has been said that “No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.” and my plans could well fall into that realm; but, I have at least thought them through.
      Your first test: The Road is Blocked lacks a little information. Am I just headed into town or back from shopping to home, or is this a post SHTF situation and I’m trying to bug out. Our location is very secure and for us this might be a trip home, in which case we help if we can do it safely; otherwise, find another route around the obstacle.
      The next test You Run Out of Water While Bugging Out is not going to happen, since bug in is our only plan, and the only reason to change it would be a temporary situation like a noxious HAZMAT cloud or a tornado that takes the house. We otherwise have no natural disasters like floods or wildfires.
      The test where A Loved One Dies would be very tough. In the past 3 years I have lost a best friend, a good friend, and a brother, and more recently a friend lost his wife and the mother of his preteen children. In a SHTF situation, sanitation would IMHO be paramount, so body bags (or contractor trash bags) and burial would be important perhaps with a bit of quick lime if you have it on hand.
      The next test You Get Trapped in a City by an Occupying Force could be a rough one; but, the best way of avoidance is to avoid cities. Except for a few procedures where I had an overnight hospital stay, none of our trips to the closest major cities are longer than a day trip, and if you keep your eye on geopolitics via various means, an occupying force is unlikely to appear out of nowhere, meaning you’ll have time to avoid the trip or keep it short.
      The next test You Arrive at Your BOL to Find it Looted is easy. Our BOL and BIN are one Iin the same, and we have neighbors & MAG members to help reinforce this location, and we keep OPSEC so that most will not think of us as a likely target.
      For the next test: You Arrive at Your BOL to Find it Occupied, see above where BOL=BIN.
      Next is
      You Open Sealed Food in Your Stash to Find it Spoiled; but, since BOL=BIN and you store what you eat and eat what you store, this has never been a problem in more than 30 years living here.
      When Your Loved Ones Have an Emotional Meltdown you have a problem. In this case it’s only the DW who might tear up; but, who I know from experience will soon shake off the tears and get down to business. In February 2015 while I was still in the hospital during that terrible month, she came home to find the house cold enough that the water in the cat bowls had frozen solid. The furnace had died. She shook it off, fired up the ventless heater and placed the Terra Cotta pots on the kitchen range to ad heat to the house. She got a sleeping bag and extra blankets and did what had to be done. She’s a rather tough lady and most of our farmer neighbors are cut from the same cloth.
      The test: Your Kid is in School When the Balloon Goes Up. doesn’t apply since our kids (age 27, 46, & 51) are all out on their own.
      I know that the final test: Your Car Runs Out of Gas in Remote Cold Conditions happen to people; but, we follow the ½ is empty rule, so we never run around with less than half a tank; plus, we’ll sometimes carry a few extra gallons; but, in a pinch, we have a winter car kit with sleeping bags, space blankets, wool blankets, and an inexpensive and efficient #10 can & candle car heater. I still know people who don’t look for gas until the idiot light comes on. Don’t be one of those people.
      If A Desperate/Crazed/Depraved Survivor Puts Me at Gunpoint it would depend on the circumstances. How close is he and how close is cover? Can I offer him something to placate him or will we have to duel it out? While I am no Annie Oakley, I regularly practice drawing and shooting on the run, so if we can’t work this out amicably, I’ll just have to hope that my practice gives me the edge. Unless he also practices under stress, the fact that someone doesn’t just cower in fear can often give you an edge, since the opponent’s mindset and war gaming may not have expected armed resistance, or that your companions may also have the ability to shoot back.
      You Are At Work When SHTF is the easiest, since I’m retired and carry multiple defensive & communications means everywhere I go. 10 years ago when I was working away from home, I always had extra gas, defensive and communications means, and knew many alternates route without needing a map or GPS.

      Unless the event is something like an EMP where you are stuck without any warning, >strong> You Encounter a Mob Swarming the Road just isn’t going to happen. Situational Awareness at all times, including keeping an eye on weather and local happenings and geopolitics helps here.
      14. No hurricanes in Ohio
      The test when A Deadly Chemical Agent is Poisoning the Air is my only reason to bug out and one of the many reasons I have volunteered with my local county EMA for the past nearly 20 years. We keep duct tape plastic, and O2, monitor EMS radio channels and will get immediate text and email from our EMS folks in such an event. We have ways to watch the weather and the wind speed and direction, and ways to communicate across agencies. It would depend on where and the prevailing winds to make the final decision to bug out or button up; but, we have the resources to do either.
      For the test of Your Home is Invaded>/strong> to happen all of the perimeter sensors, motion activated security lights, and cameras would have had to fail and none of the neighbors would have notices strange vehicles travelling the 200+ feet from the road to the house, and the new doors would have to be hit hard more than once. Any if these alarms mean at least one loaded firearm ready at hand, and one or more communications devices from landline & cell phones to several two way radios being brought to bear. A call to numerous neighbors would bring armed help; but, that is kind of our rural way of living, where we watch out for one another.
      Winding Up Lost in Deep Country would be hard, since there is no really deep country within many miles of my home, and I know most of it by memory, or at least the location of roads I might encounter in relation to my home. My land navigation skills are good enough that I’ve taught the class, and unless I was nabbed and dumped in a strange place many miles from here, one of my compasses or communications devices would help get me clear, and my EDC contains enough seasonal kit to spend a night or two in the woods if I had to do so.
      When it is Time to Bug-Out but My Vehicle is Disabled we move to plan A, Bug In.
      With just the DW & I who do very little traveling, for me to be Caught Far, Far From Home is unlikely, unless I’m in the company of family or friends who are al LMI’s.
      Running Out of Vital Medicine is possible; but, I take nothing that is life ending, such as insulin. Diuretics, a beta blocker & ACE inhibitor and a full strength (325 mg) ASA are most of what I take. I also take Allopurinol for gout prevention; but, by watching my diet and using black cherry we could get along there OK, A year ago this was not true and I had to take some daily anticoagulants for my aFib; but, I had a procedure last October that does away with everything except ASA. I also try to keep at least a 6-9 month supply of all of my prescription medications.
      If A Desperate Survivor Begs Me for Help we have quick snacks/meals like chicken salad and crackers or pretzels and cheese dip (from Dollar Tree) to hand out, along with water or Gatorade in a disposable bottle and a #10 can with beans, rice, matches, & instructions.
      If Nuclear Device Detonation May Be Imminent it would depend on where. The best thing for us to do is disconnect all electrical devices and take shelter below ground. Not much more you can do here unless you have your own jet and head out in full afterburner. Keeping iodine supplements on hand might help post event.
      If My Stockpile Becomes Inaccessible a really bad thing happened, since it is spread all over the house and in some of the barns. We have enough that destruction of all of it is highly improbable.
      For My BOB to be Snatched he would have to break into the house or the vehicle since it is not generally carried, and my backup firearm is never in the BOB; but, also on my person. The key is to stay put when imminent events are on the horizon. Stay where you are already safe.
      If My Shelter Catches Fire then we fight it with multiple ABC extinguishers and water delivery devices. If local FD is unavailable then we salvage what we can and move to one of the outbuilding to camp and plan out next move.
      If I am About to Be Abducted I comply until I get close enough to one of them to deflect their firearm, draw mine and fight. This is something I have taught and practiced for 10+ years. It could well all go south; but, getting in the car is statistically a death sentence.

      Since it’s just the DW & I, Cell Networks Going Down Hard When Separated while not impossible would be hard, since we rarely travel separated. We also have multiple communications means such as Citizen Band and Amateur radio with numerous battery backed wide area repeater systems available. I the separated one can fine a landline, calling our landline is most likely going to work. I spent 16 years working in telecommunications as a engineer and know how hardened and fault tolerate thos systems are made.
      You Are Bugging Out and Have a Party Member Get Seriously Injured. We are not bugging out except for short duration events directly affecting our location.
      If I Had to Shoot an Assailant While Bugging In I would document the entire thing both with video and audio and then place the body outside in a body bag until I could call authorities. If the event lasts a long time, the body might have to be buried for health reasons.
      For A Major Flood Event is Threatening My Shelter I would have to get Noah’s cell number, since we picked this place in part due to its location. Flooding occurs all around us within 10-15 miles; but, never here. We are the high ground.
      If An EMP Threat is Imminent then we should all be in good shape. The big problem with a EMP is that it some suddenly without warning and the lights go out. At that point we turn off the generator (normally in standby), disconnect the house from the grid, and unplug everything until after the event. We run things on batteries until the event is concluded. Advance warning can do a lot here. When you state: one that will decimate all circuit boards and many other electronics you got it right, since Decimate means to take out about 10% of your equipment. Had you stated: annihilate”, meaning everything, you would have been incorrect.

  1. the vast majority of these are not really an issue for me, and many seem unrealistic to the point of being paranoid fantasies (extreme even past accounts of real events in 3rd world countries).

    1. road blocked, i would go over it, but thats because i rarelly own a vehicle and i rely on a bike and trailer to get around most of the time (i live in a very rural area and its 20 miles to town). i encountered road blocks before (construction on road, house fires/accident emergency vehicles in the way, trees down). i just picked the bike up and carried it around the obsticles. if it was with my truck (when i got one) i keep an ax behind the seat, most trees would take little work to chop out and drag (i have used my truck to drag trees out of the woods).

    2 im in a very humid/wet region, water is everyhere, and i have 4 water filters in buried cashe barrels that nobody will ever find unless they know where it is (very few people around, dense woods, even with metal detectors a metal find is most likely an old farm tool or broken logging cable or trash), water is everyhere and i have ceramic filters.

    3 not an issue for me

    4 not an issue for me, haven’t been to a city in over a decade, biggest ton i been to in 10 years only has 5000 people, went to a walmart at night a month ago and nearly shit myself in awe at the ligths of the parkinglot i’m so used to darkness at night.

    5 i don’t stock anything of real value in buildings, i actually wrote an article for self reliance journal about one of my buried cashe barrels. the barrel in question was 100 feet from a leantoo shelter i built, nothing in the shelter, the supplies were well hidden.

    6 nobody would want to take over my buildings, i wouldn’t bug out except if my homestead was a total loss, and even then i don’t plan to go where people go, i am one of the few who could live off the land (i ran down a raccoon the other day and killed it with a knife, i have over a dozen furs drying in my cabin right now), if i had to bug out i would head to the hills and set up an A frame cabin in about 2 days time, then live off the land hidden away from people.

    7 the only way something i stash could spoil is if water got to it, i stash things in sealed containers (barrels) and even in the barrels everything is stored in other watertight containers (mason jars and the like). i got not refrigeration, and i got only a cast iron wood stove for heat, i rely on dried or fresh stuff, and very little on canned goods.

    8 and 9 are not issues

    10 i rarelly leave my homestead, and even when i do its usually less than 20 miles and on a bike, i never run out of gas, even with trucks i don’t go far (use mostly for moving logs to mill, or hauling in bulky supplies like a years worth of chicken feed)

    11, nobody sane would mess with me, and even the crazies don’t wanna mess with me, i caught 3 local thuds vandalizing my property this summer (1 had done time for shooting a friend of his in the face in 2008 and is a local drug dealer, his 2 friends were also bad news) i chased them off my land by running at them screaming and waving an ax (i ran out of the woods by surprise) i screamed that i was going to cleave them in half and rape their corpses, they stopped in their tracks, shat themselves and fled. since then every lolife in the county has kept a respectable distance from me (i also put a shotgun in another guys face when i ambushed him 2 years ago at 2 am in my driveway, i am used to the dark and the woods, he wasn’t, he didn’t know i was there till i tapped him in the face with the gun barrel, i was naked (as hot summer weather) and told him “boy you got a real purdy mouth, best leave before i put it to use) he ran to his car and fled, nobody takes me by surprise and its suicide for anyone to try.

    12 i don’t work, i sell a little of what i produce at home so i don’t got money but i also don’t go anyhere

    13 there is no chance of that happening, i never go anywhere

    14 hurricanes don’t happen here, we get ice storms, noreasters, and blizzards, but those are fun, not a threat

    15 would never happen, not enough people, as i said the biggest town only has 5000 people and its 20 miles away.

    16 not an issue, as i said nobody wants to mess with my place, i have several fences and ditches up making it a huge dificulty to get to my buildings (stone fence with a 5 foot tall barbed wire and electric wire on top, another fence 30 feet past it, meant to keep cattle in, deer out, and even rabbits out since i grow most of my own food, also logs and stumps, and i let hawthorns, and brambles grow and vines making it a misserable experience except for the gate which has been set up as a nomans land. if by some chance someone does get past that i have motion alarms that would alert me. and if someone is crazy enough to try to get in the windows are too small to go through, and the door is homemade, i locked my keys inside once and had to spend 30 minutes with a sledge to get my on door back open, nobody is going to get in by surprise and i got a loaded shotgun next to the bed (many times i had to go deal with coon or coyote in the night, and i got ptsd so i am woke by the slightest sounds in the night)

    17 not an issue, i only get lost when i have to follow roads, in the woods i am never lost

    18 not an issue, my bike is my primary vehicle and i can go up to 200 miles in a day, it never breaks down and if something breaks i can fix it, or take my spare bike, or just walk, i walked to town a number of times easily.

    19 not an issue, i almost never leave my property and when i do i don’t go further than i can walk home in a day.

    20 not an issue, i don’t rely on fancy medicines, and the few i do buy i keep in stock and a large supply in each cashe (ammoxacillen). i treat wounds with honey and i smoke mullein when i got a cold, i can pick more medicine if i need it, even with the ammox i never use it.

    21 not impossible, i would probably help them, though most people wouldn’t want raccoon meat, turnips, and cattail bread, even my Mohawk friends think the things i eat are a little too wild.

    22 too remote, nukes like that would be a waste of time unless the goal is to irradiate a lot of trees, cows and rabbits

    23 not an issue, i built my cabin and it has no basment, i built the barn the sugarhouse, trapping shack, workshop, all 4 chicken coops, and the outhouse, nothing will collapse easily, and if it does there won’t be enough to stop me from cleaning it up

    24 not an issue for me, i made a tomahawk from scrap metal, on an anvil i made from scrap metal, with a charcoal forge, i make bows from scavanged junk or wood, i make knives, rope, baskets, etc. problem with not working for an income means i got to make more of what i need, and there is very little i can’t make. someone steals my stuff, its a minor inconvinience, hell i got a muzzleloading shotgun i made hanging on the wall, made it from junk. i even kno fintknapping

    25 not an issue, i am never caught by surprise in the woods, i do the surprising, and nobody would want to anyway

    26 that the biggest threat i figure i have to deal with, i don’t keep much in any specific building, i got a 6 month supply of dried food in a cashe in the barn, and a barrel full of old cloths and blankets. i built my cabin for under $5k, i can build another, i figure if it burns in the winter i can convert on of my other buildings into a temporary place, so most of my stuff is not kept in the cabin. i lived in a 10×14 toolshed for a year an a half, and then a 12×20 storage barn a few years before this place, i can easily live in one of my unoccupied chicken coops. (my 10×14 was in an article i wrote for self reliance journal, inside picture of that cabin you will actually see a couple spears i had by the bed, i made those, and i used them to kill raccoons and skunks and woodchucks, some i trapped and some i ran down on foot and impaled when they woke me at night, very light sleeper).

    27 not an issue, i don’t own a phone most of the time, i only have one occasionally when i am selling firewood in the fall, the rest of the time i don’t bother with the expense

    28 not an issue, not many could keep up with me, and if i had someone i valued enough to have with me i would stop and help them, then make a travoise to carry them.

    29 combination of the first 2 options, document everything to report when law is reestablished since it was justified, then drag the carcass to the carcass heap (place on the far side of my land i dump dead stuff, or the parts i don’t need)

    30 not an issue, i am in a wet swampy area but there is no chance my place could flood, the water would just drain out down the hill, my cabin is half way up a small hill, there is no way enough water could flood unless its biblical, flood water would have to be 30 feet deep covering an area 100 miles by 200 miles to be deep enough to be a problem.

    31 i rarelly go anyhere. if there is a disease i would simply lock the gates andwait it out in a quaranteen, let it burn out before leaving, this area was hit bad in the spanish flu and before that the native populations were decimated. best way to deal is to ait it out in isolation, but ok by me, i got plenty of well water and the pond and rain/snow, 2 years stockpile of food, 10 years worth of firewood, 1 year of livestock feed, and free solar power, i also render coon fat for candles in case that goes down. 1 good fall coon makes up to 1/2 gallon rendered fat.

    32 minor inconvinence, i don’t trust electonics and rarelly use them. my tractor was built in the 50s and isn’t sensitive to be affected by an emp, the only thing i would loose would be solar power for ligths and my crappy laptop, but i am so used to not having reliable power i would just pop out the candles and play solitare or make some baskets at night.

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